Senses of Devotion

Art for Faith's Sake

Book 7
Wipf and Stock Publishers
Free sample

This ethnographic study focuses on the religious imagery and practices of a sample of Buddhist temples and Muslim mosques in the greater Los Angeles area. As a way of expanding interfaith dialogue, it is framed as a conversation between the largely Christian researchers and the seventy-five respondents, who were asked about the images, space, and practices of their religious experience. From the respondents in their various religious settings, it seeks to distill the specific religious imaginations and aesthetic profiles that might be said to characterize their experience--to discover what might be considered the living images of these faiths.

Set in the context of contemporary discussions of the nature of religion and visual culture, this richly textured study of visual and sensory practices in religion raises fundamental questions about the place of belief and ritual practice and the role these play in our increasingly pluralistic religious culture.
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About the author

William A. Dyrness is Professor of Theology and Culture and Director of the Visual Faith Institute of Art and Architecture at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California, and was a founding member of the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology and the Arts at Fuller. He is the author of Senses of the Soul: Art and the Visual in Christian Worship (2008) and Poetic Theology: God and the Poetics of Everyday Life (2011).
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Additional Information

Publisher
Wipf and Stock Publishers
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Published on
Mar 29, 2013
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Pages
160
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ISBN
9781620321362
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Quran is a sacred book with profound, and familiar, Old and New Testament resonances. And the message it promulgated, Islam, came of age during an extraordinarily rich era of interaction among monotheists. Jews, Christians, and Muslims not only worshipped the same God, but shared aspirations, operated in the same social and economic environment, and sometimes lived side by side, indistinguishable by language, costume, or manners. Today, of course, little of this commonality is apparent, and Islam is poorly understood by most non-Muslims. Entering Islam through the same biblical door Muhammad did, this book introduces readers with Christian or Jewish backgrounds to one of the world's largest, most active, and--in the West--least understood religions.

Frank Peters, one of the world's leading authorities on the monotheistic religions, starts with the central feature of Muslim faith and life: the Quran. Across its pages move Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, Solomon, John the Baptist, Jesus, and the Virgin Mary. The Quran contains remarkably familiar accounts of Genesis, the Flood, Exodus, the Virgin Birth, and other biblical events. But Peters also highlights Muhammad's very different use of Scripture and explains those elements of the Quran most alien to Western readers, from its didactic passages to its remarkable poetry.


Peters goes on to cogently explain Islam's defining features--including the significance of Mecca, the manner of Muhammad's revelations, and the creation of the unique community of Muslims, all in relation to the Judeo-Christian tradition. He compares Jesus and Muhammad, describes Islamic commandments and rituals, details the structures of Sunni and Shi'ite communities, and lays out central Islamic beliefs on war, women, mysticism, and martyrdom.


The result is a crucial and extremely accomplished book that offers Western readers a professional yet highly accessible understanding of Islam, and at a time when we need it most.

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